Some brand online marketers have deluded themselves into believing that they have forgotten more about great promotional strategies than their competitors will ever learn. These curmudgeons of the online world endlessly commit these top seven mistakes while telling themselves that they’re such consummate veterans the rules don’t apply to them. (The best way to succeed in your ad venture is to do the exact opposite of the tips below.)

  1. Let them guess at your brand – Get super fancy and create ads that promote intrigue (rather than your brand): “A sexy couple walks on a beach… then a UFO zaps them!” The impact will be so great that the customer will click on the ad anyway without knowing if you’re selling swimwear or laser-guns. Ignore the research that proves that aided brand awareness is one third more effective when there is a 100% logo presence than when the brand is invisible through the frames of the ad rotation, since you know better than those ivory tower statheads anyway.
  2. Embrace the pop-up & window launcher – The highfalutin online marketing “experts” always tell you to create an immersive experience for your customers, so what’s more immersive than having a single click on an ad trigger a barrage of pop-up windows and an exponentially multiplying number of new full windows until you take over the entire display area and likely crash their browser? While you’re at it commandeer their home page to your landing page. Now that’s the way to make sure that your customer will remember your brand for a very long long long time.
  3. Have your lawyer write your ad – It’s a litigation happy world out there so have your lawyer draft a 27,000 word legal disclaimer and place it in its entirety in every ad you place, even if it has to be set in 2 point type. If your skyscraper now looks like a gray grid and your graphic designer quits in disgust, justify your choice by rationalizing that you can now redirect the former designer’s fee to having your lawyer add another 10,000 words to your disclaimer.
  4. Amortize your ad design investment – You’re selling the same product now that you were selling a decade ago, so why change your ad just to keep up with the current trends? Leave the constantly updated ads to the chichi fashion designers and the Applephile crowd and make each one of your ads last until the end of time. After all, you’re not in business to buy your copywriters and graphic designers new Aston Martins every year.
  5. There’s no free lunch – In your career nobody has ever given you something for nothing, so return the favor. Giving away freebies, holding contests for valuable prizes and lucratively rewarding your evangelists is nothing more than an excuse to lose money by giving it to strangers, so tell them all to take a hike. You’re in business to sell product and make a profit, not to act as a Santa Claus on amphetamines.
  6. Toss all traffic onto your home page – If you were to listen to those crazy online marketing consultants (to say nothing of the know-nothing blogger wannabe gurus) you’d be spending the rest of the millennium drawing up landing pages for every micro-segment of your customer base. Don’t pay good money to create separate landing pages for the vegan Willys Jeep mudboggers vs. the lacto-ovo-vegetarian ones, fire your consultants and stop reading those darned marketing blogs. If they actually knew what they were talking about they’d have real jobs like you.
  7. Don’t put a dime into AdWords – It’s a complete waste of time and money to mess around with AdWords, analytics and the rest of that Google brainwash junk so steer clear of all of it. If your customer wants to find you badly enough they’ll figure out a way to do it without a colored background ad at the top of the search page. Sergey Brin already has enough money (and he’s probably a sleeper KGB agent planted by the old Soviet Union anyway), so he sure doesn’t need your hard earned cash.